Over the past two years, as far Left riots and violent protests have consumed much of America, leaders in the Democrat Party have been largely silent on the matter.
In the summer of 2020, Joe Biden — then the Democratic presidential nominee — did not condemn violent rioting until five nights after demonstrations swept the nation, as admitted by a USA Today fact check.
Other top Democrats have egged on the rioters.
Most recently, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) appeared to encourage Americans to riot if Derek Chauvin was not declared guilty: “We’re looking for a guilty verdict and we’re looking to see if all of the talk that took place and has been taking place after they saw what happened to George Floyd… We got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
There have been some Democrats, however, who condemned rioting in reaction to perceived racial injustice — albeit with varying degrees of conviction.
Here are four examples.
Keisha Lance Bottoms
In an impassioned May 29 speech, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D-GA) demanded that rioters in her city cease their violence.
“This is not a protest. This is not in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. This is chaos,” she said. “A protest has purpose. When Dr. King was assassinated, we didn’t do this to our city. So if you love this city — this city that has had a legacy of black mayors and black police chiefs and people who care about this city, where more than 50 percent of the business owners in metro Atlanta are minority business owners — if you care about this city, then go home.”
Bottoms then slammed the rioters for being driven by depravity.
“You’re not honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement,” she said. “You’re not protesting anything running out with brown liquor in your hands and breaking windows in this city.”
“T.I. and Killer Mike own half the Westside,” Bottoms pointed out. “So when you burn down this city, you’re burning down our community!”
“This is not the legacy of civil rights in America. This is chaos, and we’re buying into it,” she concluded. “Go home!”
Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) broke with her party’s narrative by commending the officer who shot Ma’Khia Bryant for responding “as he was trained to do.”
“When I served as a police chief, what I prayed for daily was that my police officers would respond as they are trained to do,” remarked Demings — who led the Orlando Police Department from 2007 to 2011 — on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
“Look, I worked as a social worker with foster care children so it’s a sad moment for me. But I also was a patrol officer who was out there in the street having to make those split-second decisions,” she continued. “Now everyone has the benefit of slowing the video down and seizing the perfect moment. The officer on the street does not have that ability.”
Acknowledging that “those split-second decisions” are tough, Demings said that from “the limited information that I know and [in] viewing the video, it appears the officer responded as he was trained to do, with the main thought of preventing a tragedy and a loss of life of a person who was about to be assaulted.”
Demings has also spoken against riots, instead favoring peaceful protests.
Though she condemned President Trump for encouraging “chaos and disorder and lawlessness,” she said in August that protesters “have the right to demonstrate, but we are a nation of laws.”
“We don’t condemn people who are obeying the law because of those who do not obey the law,” she said. “We can do both and we have done both in this America, and that’s what we need to do.”
In an interview in early June, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) condemned political violence in response to George Floyd’s death.
“Let’s bring it back to the demonstrations,” said Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post. “As anyone who knows you knows, you are a product and a child of the civil rights movement from the 1950s and 1960s. What is your reaction, what is your message to those who are usurping this movement that we see now to commit acts of violence and looting?”
Clyburn noted that during his work in the civil rights movement alongside John Lewis, he and his allies suffered because “there was a group of people who exploited the movement” and “there was a group of people who hijacked the movement.”
“And when you have these kinds of activities going on, everybody that gets involved ain’t necessarily there with the real purpose,” he said. “We have a purpose when we go out to protest. But then there are people who will use that as sort of a shell for cover to do other things. And so, we have to be very careful in this movement, especially with social media all around us, because so much of what we say and do gets weaponized against us.”
“Peaceful protest is our game. Violence is their game. Purposeful protest is our game. This looting and rioting, that’s their game. We cannot allow ourselves to play their game,” Clyburn added.
“So, I say to young people all the time, we should stand together in solidarity for that which we know to be the purpose for our existence, and that is to make a better country, a better world for those who must come after us,” he continued. “Breaking out a window will not contribute to that. Setting a fire, throwing stones at police officers, that’s destructive behavior which will not contribute to anything that will make this a better country and make a better future for our children and our grandchildren.”
Despite his strong initial condemnation of violence, Clyburn also echoed the words of Rep. Waters during the trial of Derek Chauvin.
“What I’m saying to people today, we have got to stand up now. And if I might use this word that my colleague Maxine Waters was chastised for, we have to confront injustice. That’s what we gotta do,” he told Jim Acosta of CNN.
Acosta asked whether he was saying to “be confrontational,” and Clyburn answered in the affirmative.
In August, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) took a stand against rioting before quickly backtracking.
“This isn’t hard. Vigilantism is bad. Police officers shooting black people in the back is bad. Looting and property damage is bad,” Murphy tweeted in late August, as reported by Fox News. “You don’t have to choose. You can be against it all. You can just be for peace.”
Murphy, however, deleted his tweet only a few hours after its publication.
“I don’t normally delete tweets, but just got rid of one that mistakenly gave the impression that I thought there was an equivalency between property crime and murder,” he said in a second post. “Of course I don’t think that. So I just took it down.”
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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